A new digital platform to help students switch universities has been launched by six universities in the Midlands.
The Midlands Credit Compass allows students to change between participating providers, and even restart their studies within five years of dropping out.
The new platform was launched by the Midlands Enterprise Universities (MEU), a consortium comprising Birmingham City, Coventry, Derby, Nottingham Trent, Lincoln and Wolverhampton universities.
Thought to be the first of its kind, the platform allows students to transfer academic credits between the six university partners. Applicants through the Credit Compass are also assigned a dedicated member of staff to support their transfer.
All of us need to do what we can to provide students, who may not have made the right choice, with options to study at other universities.
– Nicola Dandridge, Office for Students
The higher education watchdog, Office for Students (OfS), welcomed the announcement. In August 2019, OfS chief executive Nicola Dandridge told The Times that the regulator wants the process of transferring between universities made easier.
At the launch of the Credit Compass at Nottingham Trent University, Dandridge said: “Although you can provide the best possible information to students on what and where to study, circumstances change, and we know that some students do want to change institution.
“The danger is that if they don’t know how to do that they may drop out altogether which is a tremendous wasted opportunity, so all of us need to do what we can to provide students, who may not have made the right choice, with options to study at other universities.”
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The proportion of students transferring to another university after the first year of their course has risen slightly, from about 2.5% in 2011 to fewer than 3.5% in 2017.
Prof Kathryn Mitchell, chair of MEU and vice-chancellor at the University of Derby, said: “The Midlands Credit Compass will improve opportunities for students to access quality advice and guidance and re-engage with higher education across the Midlands.
“It also demonstrates our joint commitment to putting students at the heart of the system, supporting student access, choice and flexibility.”
More information on MEU is available at www.midlandsenterpriseuniversities.co.uk